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  CSPAN    U.S. Senate    News/Business.  

    April 18, 2013
    12:00 - 5:01pm EDT  

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quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: i ask consent the call of the quorum be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. under the previous order, there will now be two minutes of debate, equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 717 offered by the senator from wyoming, mr. barrasso. mrbarrasso: ank you,ming. mr. presiden this amendment protects the privacy and sety of law-abiding gun owners. when government officials release gun ownership information it puts many lives at risk. this includes the lives of lawful gun owners, the lived of law enforcement and the lives of
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ctheic violence. state or local governments that release private gun owner information will be penalized 5% of their federal program funding. this includes the release of private information on individuals 0 who have licenses to purchase or who possess or who carry firearms. the funding that's withheld will then be redistributed to the states that are in compliance. this amendment will ensure that gun owners across the nation do not have their private gun owner information publicly released. thank you, mr. president. and i urge all my colleagues to support the amendment. mr. leahy: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from vermont. mr. leahy: this is a case of washington being big brother and telling each one of the states whether it's wyoming, vermont, or connecticut here's what you have to do. we have no idea how it's going to affect them, we do know it's going to cut off a lot of money to law enforcement because it's telling states even though
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states, legislators have gone out for the year you've got to have a one size fits all. ther never been a hearing on it' a feel-good amendment, it will hurt our states,t importantly, it will hurt -- it will law enforcement. if you want to have a discussion of this, fine, let's have a hearing, let's find out what it . but to do this feel-good amendment to tell every one of our 50 states after two minutes of debate we're going to tell our 50 states we know better than you do and here's what you should do, it makes no sense and i oppose it. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the roll.
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding offi arere any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? on this vote, the yea an yeas a, the nays are 30. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is agreed to. under the previous order, there will now be two minutes of debate equally divided prior to a vote in relation to amendment number 630, offered by the senator from iowa, mr. harkin. mr. harkin: mr. president? the presiding officer: without objection.
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the senate will come to order. senators take their conversations out of the well. the senate will come to order. the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, i rise to speak in support of amendment 630, which i've introduced with senator alexander and a bipartisan group of colleagues. this amendment would reauthorize and improve programs administered by both the departments of education and health and human services related to awareness, intervention, prevention of mental health conditions and the promotion of linkages to appropriate services for children and youth. scho setsy promotingocuses on schoolwide prevention through the development of positive
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behavioral interventions and supports. title 2 focuses on suicide prevention and also helping children recover from traumatic events. i want to make it clear that this amendment passed our committee last week unanimously. unanimously t. has -- the presiding officer: the senate will be in order. the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: it has a number of republican and democratic cosponsors so i hope that regardless of how we might agree or disagree on all this stuff about guns and stuff coming up, i hope we all agree that we need to do a better job of early identification, intervention and support services for mental health for our children in this country. and with that, i would yield to senator alexander. mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president, this bill was unanimous in committee. it has the contributions from many senators on both sides. it improves prevention and intervention in our schools, universities, communities, doctors' offices, mental health. and i urge a "yes" vote. it's an authorization bill. it has -- therefore, has no
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score. the presiding officer: who yields time? who yields time in opposition? a senator: ask for the yeas and nays. the presiding officer: is there a sufficient second? there appears to be. the clerk will call the rol vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or to change their vote? if not, on this vote, the yeas are 95, the nays are 2. under the previous order requiring 60 votes for the adoption of this amendment, the amendment is agreed to. under the previous order, the senate stands in recess until senate stands in recess until
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>> this afternoon attoey general eric holder testifies in oreig tis committee. he will tal talk about the president's 2014 budget request for the justice department. we will have his comments at 2:00 eastern on c-span3. earlier today homeland secure the secretary janet napolitano testified on capitol hill. she was talking about the 2014 budget request for our department. she discussed the west texas oil
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refinery explosion and the boston marathon bombs. here's a look. >> i'll begin with west texas as the more recent event and give you the most current information that we have about the explosion. and, of course, our sympathies and concerns go out to the families of those who've lost loved ones or who have had a loved one who has been injured. as of right now the faa has issued a temporary flight restriction over the area. the texas commission on environmental quality is providing air monitoring and technical assistance. texas task force one has been alerted to provide structural collapse support. the union pacific railroad has halted freight service. and local authorities have turned off utility service in the area including gas and electricity. there is an incident command center at a triage center, but they been recently moved due to fears that additional tanks
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could be at risk. theme, part of the department, has been activated and stands ready t assist texas upon request. the state fire marshal's office, the texas dps, the waco fire hazmat and other state agenes are also responding. the american red cross is working with local emergency management to identify shelter management assistance. we have within fema activated and incident management assistant jim, three preliminary damage assessment teams, and we are also standing by to assist in any other way. our eoc remains at level three, which is at increased readiness. we will continue to monitor the events over the course of the day and provide you with updates as they are relevant. i might add, mr. chairman, that
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many of the things i've just gone through are examples of the kinds of activities that have been supported by the committee, through fema, through the various grants that we supply, search and rescue being a good example of the kinds of things that grants have been supporting increasing our capacity for response and resilience as a nation. so that is the most recent on west, texas. with respect to boston, we are, we are investi this as an act of terror. we ae assisting. ice is part of the jttf. we have over four dozen ice agents now assigned to the boston office helping in the investigation. cdp is assisting in a number of tays immediately after the
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we work to close logan, the ground air for a few hours and to institute special targeting rules both in the air environment and at the canadian border environment in case there were those seeking to escape the scene. with respect to fema, i can, when saw the response in boston and a coordinated it was, even given the level of destruction, i would remind the committee that just last november, boston held a massive exercise on how to deal with a mass casualty event. and that exercise was the kind of exercise and exercise is supported by the committee through fema to local areas, and again increasing our ability for response and resilience. we have worked with the fbi and ietotate lct ross e
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critical infrarurs d oprators, and we've been reaching out to faith-based organizations, community organizations and others who want to know what they can do. we are implementing a number of security measures, both seen and unseen at airports, transit hubs within the maritime environment, and at ports of entry. the coast guard is provided security on the ferries in the boston area. viper teams are doing searches on terms of ground transportation, and the like. and, finally, with respect to the public, we do urge the public to remain vigilant. we are all in this together. security is a joint responsibility. they "see something, say something" message is something that all of us can emphasize, and events such as boston remind us of the importance of that. this is an all hands on deck effort by the entire federal
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government, led by the president. and we are committed to making sure that we bring the perpetrators to justice. >> you can see that entire hearing with homeland security secretary janet napolitano anytime at our website, c-span.org. the president obama released a statement earlier today on that explosion in west, texas. he said quote today our prayers o out to the peoplest my aatdmin, through fema and other agencies, is in close contact with our state an lalrsk sure there are no unmet needs. again,the president in a statement earlier today. nancy pelosi holding her weekly legislative briefing. that was a bit early. she discussed yesterday's failed vote on bipartisan gun legislation in the senate. she was joined by congressman mike thompson who chairs the gun violence prevention task force. they're proposing a house version of a compckgroundck
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this is 20 minutes. >> good morning. >> good morning. >> as we gather here this morning, people are gathering in boston for a prayer service. we joined them, our prayers and thoughts are with the people of boston, the families of all of the victims of this senseless tragedy, wherever they are from. we pray for the recovery of the injured and as americans and members of congress. words are always inadequate for times like this. words alone cannot console loved ones but we will do what we can to care for them, with investigations ongoing we will ensure that justice is done. e watched the develos and the tragic fire in the west todo leilieso, our condole
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llednd injur in the blaze. and we plan to insist on the ongoing response and recovery effort. life is fragile. you never know from one day to the next. as our hearts are still in boston, our concerns across the country to those who are in pain, our work continues in washington, d.c. right now we're focused on adopting budgets to reflect our country's values. republicans have repeatedly called for regular order. they have called it, in sessions of leader, house and senate with the president and vice president and said we want regular order. they call for regular order all of the time. they have repeatedly chastised the senate for not passing a budget bill. now, both houses of pass budget bills. the senate has passed its budget bill, both houses, and overdue,
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april 15 was the deadline for is having a budget for a conference report. so send a letter, the leader house democratic leader has sent a letter to speaker boehner asking him to appoint conferees. the time has come, it's long overdue. we want a full open and transparent discussion of priorieshalow the public to make a judgment about these priorities they prefer, and they understand what the decisions are. who's cating econmic growth with good jobs, balancing, having aal aancedproach to deficit reduction and strengthen the middle class. as i said, last week our focus in the next little while will be on guns and budget, talked about budget. i will be joined by my colleague, congressman mike thompson of california.
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congressman thompson is a vietnam vet, a wounded vietnam vet. he is a gun owner, hunter. is the head of our task force on gun violence prevention, and he is a co-author of the bipartisan bill in the house with peter king. to put forth a manchin-toomey compromise that failed, so sadly, in the senate last night. we are so disappointed. our sorrow was expressed so appropriately by president obama last night that i invited mike to join us here to tell you where we go from here and to answer the question that people are saying what can we do to change this. mike, would you speak -- thank you for your leadership. >> thank you, leader pelosi. it's a pleasure and honor to join you, to talk about and to answer any questions that you guys may have on gun violence prevention.
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-manchin amendment that failefailed last night, as i thk everybody knows. it was everything. it was gun trafficking that failed last night. so this is, this is, if you're confused by the vote, like i'm sure the 93% of the mac and people who believe we should have background checks are confused, you are not alone because this is just unexplainable. what i can tell you is, it's not going to slow us or the tour our work in regard to gun violence prevention one bit. we met this morning with the vice chairs of the task force, the senate leader reid's staff was over to brief us. we had folks from one of the outside groups come in to brief us on what they are doing. and when we see what happens with the other two amendments in the senate today, we will then, we will recalculate.
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i'm -- isn't that what the garments is? every time i get in the car the garments is recalculating, recalculating. we will recalculate and get a drink and we will go forward on this. the american people want their congress to take action to make their commuieheir neighborhoods, their workplace and the schools ser. and we can do that while protecting the second amendment. we have proven that with the bill that peter king and i intred here in the house. it does all those things, and protects the second amendment. it makes sense to do it. it has wide support of the american people, and we will figure out how to make sure our colleagues who didn't get that memo did it. so they understand that the people that they represent want these commonsense steps taken. >> thank you very much for your leadership, and for your optimism that something will be done. because something must be done.
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because that's what the american people expect and what they deserve. the process will go, how we go from here is that we will be collecting and inviting bipartisan sign of as cosponsors of the bill, which is already bipartisan, d.c., to get as many cosponsors as possible. when the public says to us what do we do, well, you can encourage your member of congress to cosponsor the bill in the house. and what we want also is a vote. so the people can say to the leadership in the congress, to the speaker of the house, give us a vote. give us a vote in the house. and so, as you can see, we are just not taking no for an makethem one a time like this how important we think we are, that any one of us thinks that our survival politically is more important an the safety of our children. buwe c'teur
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. as police chiefs have said to us and get the gifford, in her op-ed in your times today, you are afraid of the gun lobby? how about the fear of the children who have to face that violence in the classroom? so it's disappointing, but again, it's going to energize the efforts of the more attention, even more attention is paid on what the choices are here in congress, and who are on the side of the safety of our children and their homes and their schools and their neighborhoods and their community. any questions? >> [inaudible] >> considering how none of this pass the democratic senate, what would give you any idea this would go anywhere in the house? in any of these measures. >> i'm not sure that folks want a vote on this understood that there is a passionate majority
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in the state that is for this. i saw that here right before leaving last weekend to go back to our districts. i asked a california colleague of mine to sign onas original coonsore ae dng one democrat, one republican. i asked the republican colleague, someone who i worked with, i work with her, someone i work with when we both served in the state senate, someone who is a model republican from someone who could do this, and he said he would prefer not to. he said i will vote for it but i don't want to co-author the gun i asked him, i said, do you know how many people in your district support this? he said i saw th polls, 93% in my district supportive. and you don't want to co-author? he said not one of them called me. i read the polls but not one of them has called me. i think what happened last night in the senate is going to be a strong message to the voters across this country that it's time to get involved and it's time to pick up the phone and
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call their members as the leader pointed out. they need to call their representatives, to go off of this bill. called the representatives and say we deserve up vote on this bill. so would you say what gives me the confidence? the voters that we all represent. >> [inaudible] >> do you think though because the issue is guns and tough issues fy these haven't been addressed for years and the congress, that the cause of the problems -- [inaudible] would that create problems on immigration? >> i hope not. i believe that the people, the american people spoke eloquently in election. that is the hiscttee voted 70% for the democrat. that opens -- perhaps
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immigration reform was an issue whose time had come. that's why will have an immigration bill. 70% of hispanics voted democratic but it wasn't that they had a change of heart or a change of mind. it's that they had a clear picture. the fog faded from how important this issue was too many people in our country. and i feel very confident about how we go forward on the immigration bill. i commend the a to senators for the work they did. of course, it's a compromise. when i change things? of course, i do think that's what a compromise is about. i'm proud of the pashtuns are recalling the gang of eight? i don't know. bipartisan team in the house that were for democrats, for republicans have been working on this issue for longtime and their proposals are very much like what had been in the senate. so we're pretty happy about the place that it is. don't get me wrong. it's not ago that i would have
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written. it's not something that all of our members are quick to embrace because again, it is a compromise. and i think as a compromise, it's the boldest common denominator, the best we can do, and it's very good. but again, my members will have their concerns about it and complains about it because again, it's a government. how many more times can i say that? my hope would be that by the ly, that this uld be the lawd of of the land. and i would not say that one or the other. but the one thing they do have inn, t american people have spoken in the election, it changed. we didn't win the election, but the issue was well served by a vote in the election. so we will have immigration reform. when the american people speak and take responsibility for getting their voices ard, the
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most intimate way to members of congress, nothing is more eloquently member of congress than the voice of his or her own constituent. and that's why daddy says in her article, approach or members of congress and the grocery store or wher were ever and tell themw important this is to you. this is a fight we must win. it's a matter of time. it may be inconceivable to the nra that this will happen. it's inevitable to us. we had to shorten the distance in time between the -- >> [inaudible] >> speaker boehner has said you would like to go to regular order on gun violence as well. we want to see the to play out in the judicial committee on the floor or when you go to a discharge position on the conference amendment sooner rather than later? >> to answer your question, when we see what the speaker does, too. he was waiting for the senate to act and now he feels he doesn't have any work to do. well then, thatst jsays we are
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not the legislative branch. we are the first branch of government, the legislative branch. it is our responsibility to legislate. and wour responsibly in the house to do that. so i'm hopeful that we will proceed with the lgation butante it is a copper much. imagine the toomey bill is a compromise. they couldn't even vote for a compromise on this. so important and indispensable with each of them to our countries future that they could not protect children with their vote. this is, this is a very personal matter as we saw with the president. beautiful remarks yesterday. but practical and important that we know the american people are concerned about this. i don't know why our colleague from california hasn't heard from his constituents, i promise
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you one thing, he will. >> i wanted to ask you a question about the boston bombing. [inaudible] >> well, i think -- it's for members of congress to say what we think we can do from hundreds of miles away. i appreciate the tenor of your question about we want to support them in every way, a i ink thssage at has ge otherom governor deval at menm be vigilaant speak seany unusual behavior. that can be helpful in this investigation.
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the time, they release and how that is in furtherance of solving this, that's really up to them. you go to early, you might lose an advantage. timing is everything. in these apprehensions as you probably know. so i pray for the people, and i know that justice will be done. i think we should respect those on the ground who are doing the job they do. i do know that this is in the forefront of concern for the president of united states, to members of congress. we in the congress stand ready to help in any way we can. the leadership of the president has been well respected, and i think that, i would just stand with the. i want to thank, again, congressman mike thompson for his leadership on this. we have fought together a cross-section of members as vice chairs of the task force, in a
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vect to just the principles for us to go forward. i want to yield to him in case he has any closing remarks on how we go forward. >> i'm as energized as i ever was. i think that we need to move this bill. i think we need to have background checks. it's inconceivable to some e co believe that you can keep guns away from criminals and the dangerously mentally ill without at a minimum having a background check. i told you guys this before when you've asked me, you cannot be against criminals and the dangerously mentally ill and getting guns and to be against background checks. is our first line of defense and we need to step up. we need to be responsible. we need to get this passed. >> if i may, one thing, and that is, when it became possible that we would not have assault weapon ban or we would not have a
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prohibition on future sales of high-capacity magazines, it made a background check bill even more important for it to be as strong as it could be. because not having successes in terms of reducing the number of guns that are out there. 300 million guns out there already. this background check is really very, very important, and i thank you again, you and the task force, for your leadership on it. you and representative king for your leadership on presenting this bill in the house, and we hope to be able to say by the time we meet again that we have an overwhelmingnmber of come in a bipartisan way, of cosponsors and that the american people have weighein, not only forcosponsorship but for a vote. thank you all very much. >> thank you.
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>> house speaker john boehner also held his weekly briefing shortly after this one. in which he also addressed monday's boston bombing. he also talked to reporters about a report being released this week on the investigation into the attack in benghazi. >> good morning, everyone. it's been a rough week for the country. our hearts go out to the victims and the people of boston, glad the president is out there today. i add my prayers to his. here in the nation's capital, envelopes full of ricin were sent to congress and to the president. all of us who serve and work here in the capital, include members, staff, reporters, and i think we'll a special thanks to the capitol police, the sergeant at arms office, and our chief administrative officers. thanks to the skill and
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dedication of the men and women who work here in their outstanding teams, the system worked as it was designed to work. and as a result, potentially deadly substance was detected and afforded, i'll say, just miles of the congressional office. let me also say thanks to the secret service in their efforts to keep the president and all the white house employees safe. it's been a rough week but we are thankful for the blessings of life and the opportunity to live in a country that people always look out for each other. but, of course, the work of democracy continues. in the coming weeks we will move bills focus on expanding american energy production and creating more jobs. all part of all-of-the-above energy strategy. we don't know that gas prices remain painfully high for families and small businesses, but it's a lot more than that. it's about revitalizing our
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manufacturing sector, creating new jobs and growing the economy for american families. energy is the foundation of our economy. we need to focus on the promise of prosperity. north american energy prosperity and the abundance that it offers to our country. america's greatness is tied to our freedom to produce and build things. republicans have a plan to grow our economy by making america a nation of builders once again. we want to streamline our government, cut red tape, and unleash the power of north american energy. with these things we can revitalize american manufacturing, and foster long-term economic growth and job creation for our citizens. lastly, we're determined to get to the truth regarding the terrorist attack on our nation's in benghazi, libya. in which three americans lost their lives.
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last year, i directed five committees to look at there is parts of this investigation. the next week, these committees will provide a comprehensive progress report on the investigation up to now. and this progress report will not represent the conclusion of their investigation, but it will be the beginning of what i would describe as the next phase. this is a matter of national security, national importance, and our investigation will, in fact, continue. questions? stuck now that the senate has failed to pass gun legislation, what does the house, what you plan to do on guns or violence in the house? >> our committee is continue to work at his. we've got the cs and om pennsylvania looking at the issue of both mental health with
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regard to hand violate. the judiciary committee continue to look at the practical steps that we can take to better protect the american people. no decision has been made beyond that. >> the president and other gun-control advocates have warned -- [inaudible]. do you have concerns that house reicans could face -- >> our committees -- [inaudible] to look up the promise of us aside and look at these strategies, and determine whether or commonsense steps we can take to reduce the chances of this. >> what is your initial reaction -- [inaudible] with the members of the last several weeks and months, do you think that they comprehensive immigration bill at all could pass with your members? >> i want to congratulate the senate, gang abate for coming forward with theirill.pt of it d
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agree with, parts i would disagree with. but the fact is that they've worked together in a bipartisan fashion to craft this bill. the house gang of eight that is ins e significantover four yearo process. odlatte is workingilentlyn with this committee on hearings about there is parts of this problem. gesture member, about three-fourths of members of congress have never dealt with the issue of immigration. so there's a big learning curve that the members are going to have to go through. that's like our web, has been holding sessions tended by members being briefed by chairman goodlatte and the immigration subcommittee chairman to help familiarize members with the various issues,
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with legal immigration and the problem of illegal immigration. so i am, overall, i'm very happy. the process is continuing. >> [inaudible] >> do you suggest that the country in the wake of the marathon bombing and we do think that the country has anyway become too complacent about the national security in these sort of situations have become and you think there's anything congress should or can do to prevent something like this and happening again? >> the world is a different place than it was before 9/11. and as we've seen since 9/11, a war in iraq and the war in afghanistan, and we've got new types of warmaking, including a te ieds. that have changed the face of security. you know, before 9/11, people
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wouldn't think of these things that happen in our country. but it's a new era. and all americans need to be vigilant. and i think these incidents, when they do occur, remind all of us that we've got to be vigilant. >> mr. speaker, minority leader was in your earlier this morning urging you to appoint conferees to hammer out a budget. do you plan on doing that? >> you know, i missing something on this story. is, the house has passed a budget as we have come as long as i've been speaker. the senate finally passed the budget after four years. the chairman of the two committees are talking, and as you all know, it's customary that there's no appointment of a formal conference until such time as their some basic framework worked out and wish they can proceed.
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and so, paul broun, our budget committee chairman, has been meeting with senator murray and have been having conversation. i would encourage that to occur. i think you also know that under rules, if you appoint conferees, after 20 legislative days there's no agreement, the minority has the right to offe moto instruct. which become politically motivated bombs to throw up on, chew up on the house floor. just want to be frank with all the. these informal conversations are underway. that's the way it should work. >> you said you want to follow regular order with gun-control bills. is there a chance that you go to regular order and you do not have a vote on the house? or can you assure that there will be a vote on the house floor on some kind of gun control measure?
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>> the relevant committees are working on this issue. i am committed to work with them, and when we have a decision we will announce, we will announce. thank you, everybody. >> so the senate in recess until about 2:00 this afternoon. about 40 mins or so from the. earlier today the senate passing a couple of amendments on that gun violence prevention bill. when the senate returned respect debate and votes about 2:15 onto judicial nomination. we will have a live for you right here on c-span2. also attorney general eric holder testifies in front of the senate foreign relations committee. he wl t about the presidents 2014 presidential budget request for the icju department. his comments will be live today at 2:00 eastern on c-span3. the president and first lady michelle obama traveled to
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boston this morning why the attended and intercooled prayer service that was held in honor of the three victims killed. the service was held at the guthrie do of the holy cross. the president's remarks are just over 20 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. please. hello, boston. scripture tells us to run with endurance the race that is set before us. run with endurance the race that is set before us. morning, the e
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over boston. the sunlight glistened off the statehouse dome, in a common, in the public garden spring was in bloom. on this patriots' day, like so many before, fans jumped up to see the sox at fenway. runners laced up their shoes and set out on a 26-point tomorrow test of dedication and great and the human spirit. and across the city, hundreds of thousands of bostonians lined the streets. to hand the runners cups of water, and to cheer them on.
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it was a beautiful day to be in boston. a day that explained why a poet once wrote that this town is not just the capital, not just a place. boston, he said, is the perfect state of grace. [applause] and then, in an instant, the days beauty was shattered. the celebration became a tragedy. and so we come together to pray and mourn, and measure our loss. but we also come together ty
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to reclaim that state of grace. to reaffirm that the spirit of this city is undaunted, and the spirit shall remain undamaged. -- undimmed. to governor patrick, mayor menino, cardinal o'malley, and all the faith leaders who are here, governors romney, swift, weldon, dukakis, members of congress, and most of all, the people of boston and the families who have lost a piece of your heart, we thank you for your leadership. we thank you for your courage. we thank you for your grace. i'm here today on behalf of the american people with asmple
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message, every one of us has been touched by this attack on your beloved city. every one of us stands with you. because, after all, is our beloved city, too. boston maybe your hometown, but we claim it, too. it's one of america's iconic cities. it's one of the world's great cities. and one of the reasons the world knows boston so what is that boston opened its heart to the world. over successive generations, you've welcomed again and again new arrivals to our shores. immigrants who constantly reinvigorated the city and this
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commonwealth, and our nation. every fall on you welcome students from all across america and all across the globe, and every spring you graduate them back into the world, boston diaspora that excels in every field of human endeavor. year after year, you welcome the greatest talent in the arts, science, research. you welcome them to your concert halls and your hospitals, your laboratories to exchange ideas and insights that draw this world together. and every third monday in april you welcome people from all around the world to the hub for
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friendship and fellowship, and healthy competition. a gathering of men and women of every race and every religion, every shape and every size, a multitude represented by all those flags that flew over the finish line. so what -- so when folks come to boston for just a day, or if they stay here for years, they leave with a piece of this town tucked firmly into their hearts. so, boston is your hometown, but we claim it a little bit, too. [applause] i know this -- [applause]
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piece beuse you welcomed me as a young law student across the river. welcome to michelle, too. you welcomed me -- [applause] you welcomed me during a convention what are still a state senator, and very few people could pronounce my name right of. [laughter] like you, michelle and i have walked the streets. like you, we know these neighborhoods. and like you in this moment of grief, we join you in saying, boston, you are my home. for millions of us, what happened on monday his personal -- is personal.
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it's personal. today, our prayers are with the campbell family of medford. they are here today. their daughter, crystal, was always smiling. those who knew her with her -- eager willingness to speak her mind, she was beautiful, sometimes she could be a little noisy. and everybody loved her for it she uld havened 30 month. as her mother said through her tears, ts doesn'take any sense. our prayers are with the lu
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family of china who sent her daughter here so she could experience all that this city has to offer. she was a 23 year-old student, far from home, and in the heartache of her family and friends on both sides of the great ocean, we are reminded of the humanity that we all share. our prayers are with the richard family of dorchester. to denise and their young daughter jane as they fight to recover, and our hearts are broken for eight year old martin, with his big smile and bright eyes. his last hours were as perfect as an eight year old boy could hope for, with his family eating ice cream at a sporting event.
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and we are left with two are entering images of this little boy, forever smiling for his beloved bruins, and a we she made on a blue posterboard. hurting people. peace. no more hurting people. peace. our prayers are with the so many wounded, some gravely, from their beds, some are surely watching us gather here today, and if you are, know this, as you begin this long journey of recovery, your city is with you. your commonwealth is with you. your country is with you. we will all be with you as you learn to stand and walk and yes,
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run again. out that i have no doubt. you will run again. [applause] [applause]
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not near in boston. [applause] not here in boston. [applause] you have shown them boston, in the face of evil, americans will lift up what is good. the face of cruelty, we will choose compassion. face of those who visit death upon innocenc we to save o
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heal. we will choose friendship. we will choose love. the scripture teaches us god has not given us the spirit of fear and that timidity. love is self-discipline, and that's the spirit you have displayed in recent days. doctor and nurses, police, firefighters, emt, guardsmen, run toward explosion to treat the wounded. that's discipline. when exhausted runners, including our troops and veterans who never expected to see such carnage on the streets back home become first
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responders themselves tending to the injured. that's real power. and boss they carry victory in their arm, deliver water and blankets, line up to give blood, -- open their homes to total strangers, give thm rides back to reu -- reunite with thr families. that love. that's the message we send to those who carry this out, and anyone who would do harm to our people. yes, we will find you. and yes, you will face justice.
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we will find you, we will hold you accountable, but more than that, our fa dellty to our way of life for a free and open society will only grow stronger. god has not given us the spirit of fear and at the same timidity but one of power and love and self-discipline. like bill, 78 years old, the runner in the orange tank top who we all saw get knocked down by the blast, we may be momentarily knocked off our feet, but we'll pick ourselves up. we'll keep going. we will finish the race. [applause]
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and the words of dick who pushed his disabled son, rick, in 31 boston marathons, we can't let something like this stop us. [applause] this can't stop us! [applause] that's what you taught us, boston. that's what you reminded us to push on to persevere. to the not get weary, to not get faint, even when it hurts. when when our heart aches we summon the strength that maybe we didn't know we had. we carry-on. we finish the race.
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[applause] we finish the race. we do that because of who we are, and we do that because we know thatsomewhere around the bend the stranger has a cup of water. around the bend, somebody is there to boost our spirits. on that toughest mile, just with we think we have hit a wall, someone will be there to cheer us on and pick us up if we follow. we know that. [appuse] that's what te perpetrators of such senseless violence, these small, stunted individuals who would destroy instead of build
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and think somehow that's what makes them important. that's what they don't understand. our faith in each other, our love for each other, our love for country, our common creed that cuts across whatever super official differences there may be, that is our power. that's our strength. that's why a bomb can't beat us. that's why we don't hunker down. that's why we don't cower in fear. we carry-on. we race. we strive. we build and we work and we love and we raise our kids to do the same, and we come together to celebrate life and to walk our cities and cheer for our teams when the sox, celtic, patriots, or bruins to the which grin of
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new york cicagofas,he crds will gather and wac e world willreturn to theet. great american city to run harder than ever and cheer even louder for the 118th boston marathon! [applause] [applause] [applause] tomorrow, the sun will rise over
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boston. tomorrow the sun will rise over the country that we love. this special place, this state of grace. the scripture tells us to run with in-- endurance the race that is set before us. as we do, may god hold close those who have been taken from us too soon. may he comfort their families and mayecontinue t wtch over united states of america. [applause] this afternoon attorney general eric holder testifies in front of the senate relation committee on the 2014 budget request for the justice department. you can see the comments live today at 2:00 p.m. eastern on
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c-span three. the senate is still in recess for the party lunches. before recessing, chamber passed two amendments to a gun violence prevention bill. yesterday senators voted on seven other amendments, and defeated all of them. including one that would have expanded background checks. senators will be back at 2:00 p.m. eastern and we will expect them to debate and vote on two judicial nominations. up next a discussion from today's washington journal on the future of senate agenda democratic wisconsin senator tammy baldwin. >> host: joining us on the "washington journal" is tammy baldwin. a democrat of wisconsin. a first temper. we should probably start talking about issues, talking about what happened in the senate yesterday with gun control. what are you thoughts? >> guest: i think the senate of theunited states let therica. was hardr me hat basico
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that enjoyed the support of over 90% of americans were voted down. a majority ofthe senate supported it, as you know, we're have those rules that require 60 votes to advance certain provisions. and i was probably my most disappointing day so far in the short ten -- tenure in the senate. i feel people are let down by the series of votes. >> host: are there a lot of nra members or gun owners in wisconsin? >> guest: there are many gun owners, just like the country. wisconsin certainly is reflective of that. i would say the hunting culture and tradition is very, very deep. if you think about just last year deer hunting season, over 650,000 hunting license were taken out in wisconsin. that's over 10% of the population that participates and enjoys the tradition of deer hunting, of course there are other hunting seasons also.
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but even among gun owners in the state of wisconsin, the idea of expanding background checks and reducing the percent of sales that take place without a background check was widely embraced, and the measures against trafficking know, we all know that too many of the incidents of mass violence as well as individual gun violence occurs with weapons that were bought from traffickers. people do want to see us crack down on these things. so, you know, it was disappointing. in wisconsin, we've had two mass shooting in recent months also. one at the place of worship. it is time for congress to act, and i was very disappointed by yesterday's inaction, but hopeful and i listen to the
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president's resolve on the issue that we continue to the dialogue and press again. we cannot give up on this fight. >> host: was gun control, gun ownership a topic in your recent election to the senate? >> guest: it was a minor topic, you know, i'm a gun owner myself. a a supporter of the second amendment. i don't believe as most of the people i represent, i don't believe that the second amendment precludes the common sense steps forward to create safer community and protect our children, and; therefore, i want to see us move. >> host: another issue coming up in the senate is immigration. where are you on the gang of 8 proposal and on immigration in general? i ws very heartend putfw republicans and fourdemoraand tn
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debate movingfor there's been stimied on the issue for so long in the congress of the united states, and everybody who interactions with the immigration system know it's broken. knows it's in desperate need of our attention, and so i think this is a very promising step forwd, i look forward to that debate coming up. >> host: where do you stand on the issue of path to citizenship and/or amnesty for 11 million or so illegal immigrants currently? >> guest: well, the comprise introduced has a tough, but i think fair path to citizenship for those undocumented individuals that are here. a separate path, you might call did, for those who call the dreamers, you know, for -- with the debate on the dream act. which focus on a group of young
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people who through no fault of their own were brought here as children. we don't look at them as having violated u.s. laws. most of them came at ages too long to be making those decisions. their future is so limited by the fact they lack documentation that i think the path that is set out for them is also fair and appropriate. >>eator tammy baldwin terms on the senate budget committee. in the hill ewspaper today house democrats up pressure on boehner to start the budget youtewill e budget conference this year rather than a continuing resolution? >> guest: you know, it's hard to predict, you know, i haven'te house will do. but i was proud to work on the senate budget resolution with
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chairman patty, who i thought did a fabulous job of moving us forward, and we crafted, i think, a resolution that, like all budget resolution, should reflect a set of values as we move forward. and it stands in stark contrast to the approach taken by discussed by paul ryan in the house budget. you know, i'm pleased that both chairmen are talking with each other right now and looking for common ground, but i think there are other ways to get back to regular order. you know, each of of the budget resolutions provides guidance for the respective appropriations committee with, and i think top that from getting u and going. i think both are. the con flingt the committees could have at that level on each of the appropriations bills rather than on the two competing
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budget resolution and still allow us move forward without a continuing resolution. >> host: would you like to be part of that conference? >> guest: oh, my goodness. absolutely. as i said budget are valued documents. and the senate budget resolution are proud and voted in support of recognizes our ry is facing two challenges. you hear olcf around here talk as the deficit and the debt are the only challenges facing this nation. when i'm home in wisconsin, i hear about the very difficult recovery from the deep recession, and jobs and the ability for a hard working person to support their family are still -- i think is still the key challenge facing this nation. our budgets have to recognize the challenges out there and
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respond. i think that's exactly what the senate budget resolution does. it focuses on job creation and the investment we need make in people and education and innovation and infrastructure and manufacturing and in order to move forward as it tackles our deficit and debt in terms of cutting spending, cutting spending in the tax code, and then i think it also keeps our promises to people to seniors who worked hard their whole life and want to nothing more than a secure retirement. and to our veterans to 0 who we made promises as they donned the uniform and fought for our country. >> host: what about the issue of changed cpi. . >> guest: i start with a basic notion that social security has enci ad itbutedp our shben ttal n part of the discussion. certainly we need to be
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concerned about the long-term solvent sei of social security but again when retirement security is question mark for so many families. i don't think it should be on the table during this part of the discussion during the budget resolution. look at the real contributors to our deficit and debt as we try tackle those challenges. >> host: two final questions before we go to calls. callers are ready. this is another article during an intimate dinner with democratic senators. how come you were left off the list? [laughter] >> guest: i have no idea. [laughter] but i have been very pleased with the president's increase in outreach to both members of the senate and the house. that dialogue is essential to making progress. especially when you see the
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progress made, for example, on immigration reform. we saw yesterday that even measures with bipartisan support can get caught up. so, you know, while we have to press forward on gun safety and gun violence issues, i think adti is ry healthy.the >> host: whsat'yrelaonsh to paud your fellow senator ron johnson? >> guest: paul ryan and i were elted he house of representatives in joining districts the same year in 1998, and i regard paul ryan as a friend. you can imagine that there are many issues on which we disagree. i can tell you we used to the lines of our district split through a county, rock county in wisconsin, and on issues related
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to industry there, we work together on a number of things. so i think that i would regard that as very strong relationship. i'm getting to know ron johnson, and in fact before pleased to tell you we have a success yesterday together in announcing process to fill some judicial vacancy in the state of wisconsin. vacancy that languished a little too long in my view. we worked together and i think we have a process to move us forward. we'll continue to do that, i know it's very top priority for me to, you know, be the strong voice for wisconsin as i can. especially the hard working families that are trying to get a break and, you know, get ahead again after a lot of struggle, and when i can engage senator johnson as ally in that
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mission. i'm going to do that. >> host: and relationship with the governor. governor walker? >> guest: interesting there again. wisclare.sirved together in the i wa elected in 1992 to the state legislature. he came in a special election a couple of months later. and just for small facts, a baldwin walker bill was signed in to law by governor tommy thompson. how is that an area of interest. >> host: what did it have to deal with? >> guest: transparency and campaign finance. it's interesting. this was before wisconsin had any laws to allow for electronic filing of campaign reports. and i don't want to say it was the early day of the internet. but before public documents -- and if you want to see how a candidate was raising money and who they were getting money from you you had to pay for hard copy
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to be diser rocked and mailed at great expense. i had to journey to the state capital in madison, wisconsin, it started the process in our state of frong filing. >> host: senate tammy baldwin, first temper serving on the budget committee, education and labor committee, homeland security committee, on a republican line, you are first up, bob. senator whyeah, i would like [inaudible] the economy as they did the gun control. they got their vote received it and don't like it. what are they going do? keep on voting until they get what they want? there are veterans waiting for the benefits and the problem -- [inaudible] and several are waiting years to
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receive those. they ought to push it through the gun control -- [inaudible] you know, put as much effort as they do and get something done. >> host: all right. >> guest: well, bob, thank you first for your service to our country. i deeply appreciate it and honor our veterans. i would say as a new member of the senate, i have certainly long wondered about the pace of change there, and want to be a positive force in terms of moving things forward. i would reference the senate budget resolution i was talking about a short while ago. one of the things that was important to me in helping our chairman to craft the budget but passing it keeping our promises and keeping our promises to veterans as well as to seniors and deserve to rce the
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bener pm outset. we have a lot of work to do in the va system, especially the speed with which claims are processed. and that is something i take very seriously in my home state. making sure that health care promises that have been made are kept. i was recently at one of our major va facilities in milwaukee, wisconsin, and asking lots of question about the care that our states' veterans receive. thank you, bob, for your service. >> host: mike, new port, kentucky. you are on with senator. >> caller: thank you for taki a couple of quick statements and question. an awful lot of money has been spent fighting the post 9/11
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wars. yet taxpayers have many unanswered questions about the event. despite the fact that the international team of scientists published in the peer review journal, [inaudible] proving the existence of -- [inaudible] found in the dust -- [inaudible] >> host: we got where you're going on the first question. what is the next question. >> caller: the standards and technology. the agency tasked with buildis fail -- >> host three mike. do you have ollowup question? we undd whe you are going. >> caller: sample -- >> host: we'll see what the senator has to say about that. 9/11 conspiracy theories and different ways of looking at 9/11. what are your thoughts? >> guest: you know, the report that i go by is 9/11 commission frankly, many of the recommendations and assessments have become very relevant this
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week as we have dealt with a shocking tragedy in tbons. and, you know, actually given me this week an opportunity to reflect on how far we have come, for example, with homeland security in the ten years since that agency was created. as you noted, i'm on the home land security and government affairs committee, and, you know, they are hard at work. the joint terrorism task force through the fbi and homeland security and local officials in boston and trying to bring answers and bring ultimately the perpetrators to bear the full weight of justice in the united states. but, you know, back to the caller's question. what is important to me is that we have made dramti ty oovements in seurin the
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fe ou homeland security -- the secure of t of our homeland. we can always do better. >> host: do you see, what happened in boston further attempt at legislation of some type? >> guest: you know, i think it's really, really too early to say. first of all, our hearts go out to the victims and their families and my respect goes to what the civilian and uniform first responders who did incredible things in responding to, you know, something that wasn't fully understood in the moment. but were potentially running in to harm's way to aid others. we're at the very beginning of what will be a thorough investigation. i think we'll have chance o stand back after has completed and say did it go well? what lessons were learned? what was done right?
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what was done wrong? i have no idea whether any of that will call for additional legislation, but just in the early days of the briefings we have gotten so far, it seems like many -- we are leaving the senate has gavel ack in for for debate and votes on two dis. judicial nomination order -- the clerk: derrick kahala watson of hawaii to be united states district judge. the presiding officer: under the previous order, there will now be 15 minutes for debate, equally divided in the usual form prior to votes on the nomination. a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from hawaii. ms.irono: madam president, i rise to speak in support of t nomination of derrick kahala watson te dtrudge for the united states district court of hawaii, but before i discuss this nomination, i would like to join with the rest of my colleagues in acknowledging the week we have had and how trying
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it has been for all americans. the horrific bombing at the boston marathon, the targeting of senate offices and the president with mail containing poison, other securities here at the capitol and now this tragic explosion in texas have captured our attention and given us all perspective on what's really important in life. our hearts go out to all of the victims and their families. turning now to mr. watson's nomination, i would like to thank chairman leahy and ranking member grassley of the judiciary committee for their quick consideration in referring this nomination to the full senate for a vote. mr. watson was born in hawaii. he attended harvard college and harvard law school and started his successful career in law in san francisco, california, before returning to hawaii to serve as an assistant u.s. attorney. mr. watson testified before the
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judiciary committee in january at my first hearing as senator. he demonstrated that he has the qualifications, ability and temperament to ben outstanding judge for hawaii. once he is confirmed by the senate, mr. watson will behe only per hawaiian descent serving as an article 3 judge and only the fourth to serve in the united states history. in addition, once he joins the federal bench in hawaii, that court will be the first majority asian american pacific islander article 3 court in american history. i'm proud to support judge watson and i'm happy that the senate will vote to confirm him today, and i certainly urge all of my colleagues to cast a unanimous vote for his nomination.
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a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new york. mrs. gillibrand: i am deeply honored to stand here today in support of annalisa torres' nomination to be district judge for the corn district of new york. i also want to thank president obama for acting on my nomination and nominating another superbly qualified female jurist to the federal bench. i know judge torres as a fair-minded woman of great integrity. her lifetime of public service and legal experience serving her community has earned her respect of her colleagues. her body of work demonstrates her qualifications to serve on the federal bench. courts,rd includin triminal court of the cy onek and 2012, she was eed to a 14-year term as a new york state
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supreme court justice. judge torres has previously worked inri practice as a law clerk and as a teacher. in her current role, she has exemplified pragmatism and has demonstrated a consist the president commitment to thoughtful, sound and fair reasoning. in addition to her professional work, she has shown an enduring commitment to her community. there's no question that judge torres is extremely well qualified and well suited to serve on the federal bench. i strongly urge this country to move forward to make more women like her serving on the federal bench, an institution that i believe needs more exceptional women. today women make up only 30% of the federal bench. according to the national women's law center, only 66% of women of color currently serve as active federal judges. that's less than 10% of the nation's active federal bench. we have to do better. judge torres' nomination has been pending before this body for over 150 days.
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i urge my colleagues to put aside partisan differences and help us move forward on the 14 judicial nominees who have been forced to deal with this unprecedented delay. i remind my colleagues that greater diversity of gender, ethnicity and professional backgrounds are not just ideals that we should aspire to but steps we must take to have a judiciary that is more diverse, more reflective of the great country that we live in. i have no doubt that judge torres serving in the federal judiciary will bring us closer to that goal. i was proud to recommend her to this position and i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting her nomination. i yield the floor. mr. grassley: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: i will be voting for both of these nominees for judges, but i would like to make some comments. because i hear rumblings of how senate republicans are
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obstructing judicial nominees, so i would just like to remind my colleagues of how well, how well we're proceeding. today the senate will consider two more judicial nominations, so i just -- so these nominations are people that as i just said i'm going to approve, so this is the third of this week, and with today's expected actions, we will have confirmed four circuit and nine district nominees during this congress, for a total of 13. at this point in 2005 during president bush's second term, the senate had confirmed not 13 like now with us, not nine, not four but only one judicial nominee, and so that would record of 13 for this administration and one for a
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counter time during president bush's administration. as i state week, t quick of thip of a very productive 112th congress in which 111 judges were confirmed, and that was more judges confirmed than any the way back 20 years. over wh today's actions, we will have confirmed 184 judicial nominees, divided this way -- 34 circuit judges and now 150 district judges. the senate has defeated only two nominees. now, that's a record of our passing 184-2 that haven't been approved, and that's a .989 batting average. so i don't know who is shedding tears around here, but they ought to look at the record. other nominees are s considered by the senate and a few remain in committee. i would note that we have a hearing scheduled for next week for another circuit and district
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judge, so we're continuing to move forward, but even counting those pending nominations, the president has a confirmation rate that is comparable to that of president george w. bush, president clinton and exceeds that of president george h.w. bush. so again, there is no credible basis to say that this president is being treated differently than previous presidents. what is different, though, in the case of this president is the manner in which he has allowed vacancies to accumulate before submitting nominations, so it's about time that down at the white house they get down to work, decide who they are going to nominate, get the nominations up here. his failure to make judicial nominations a priority in his first year when democrats had a filibuster-proof majority in the senate resultedn an inc of vacancies. that was not t of senate
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republicans. throughout his administration, it has been the case that a majority of vacancies h had no nominees. presently, do you know that three of fouran have no nominees up her for the 36 vacancies categorized as --quote, unquote -- judicial emergencies, there are only eight nominees. so i just want to set the record straight before the vote for these nominees because i get tired of these crocodile tears being shed, and particularly i'm sick of hearing about us not moving on judges when 3/4 of them we don't even have the nominees up here yet. so quit crying. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: madam president, i share the senator from iowa's perplexed attitude about our friends' concern about nominations.
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the president has even talked about it. i have gone back and looked at the record. there was a "washington post" article three weeks ago. i gave a copy of it to the president. this is what it said -- on cabinet nominations, this senate has considered president obama's cabinet nominations more rapidly than they did the last three presidents. now, that's cabinet nominations. never in the history of the senate has the senate denied a cabinet nomination by filibuster, with the exception of the democrats blocking john bolton in the george w. bush administration. so the president is treated better on cabinet nominations. evidence from the congressional research servicehat pr obama's circuit judges in his first term werensid ed more rapidly than president george w. bush's circuit judges.
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and senator grassley just pointed out that in the second term of president bush, he had one judge confirmed by this time. president obama has 13. on district judges, according to the congressional research service, during the first term of president obama, his district judges were considered a little more slowly than president george w. bush's, but the senate changed the rules earlier this year to cut down the postcloture debate time to make it easier to bring judges to the floor and get them through more rapidly. perhaps that's why the score is 13-1 with obama getting 13 judges and bush getting one in the same period of time in the second term. so i don't know where thi is coming from. in addition, we have never blocked a district judge by filibuster, neither party in the
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history of the senate, and in the circuit judges, we never have blocked a circuit judge until george w. bush made some nominations about the time i came to the senate ten years ago, and the democrats started it. they cause m estrada to be blocked and a number of others anug cloture motions time after time and we had a gang of six, eight, ten or 14 tha slowed it all down, but still the score is 5- five republican judges blocked by confirmation by the democrats under president bush, and two, two by republicans with president bush. so i -- we have worked pretty hard to make it easier for the president to confirm his nominations. we've had two sets of rules changes. we have a number of expedited nominations which come now to the desk. we have about 170 nominations that have been completely removed from senate confirmation, so i would think that the obama administration would be thanking the senate for its work to make it easier for
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any president to get confirmations, and in any event when we're talking about cabinet members, president obama is being better treated than the last three presidents. we are talking about circuit judges. he is better treated than george w. bush. when we're talking about district judges, he is treated a little worse in his first term than george w. bush, but we changed the rules to speed up district judges and the score in the second term, as i have said twice now, obama 13, bush 1, obama way ahead. i like to see confirmations move ahead. i hope i don't hear this much more when the record shows that in fact it's a manufactured crisis. i thank the president and i yield the
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the presiding officer: without objection. the question is on the torres nomination. all in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. the question is on the watson nomination. is there a sufficient second? there is. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
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vote:
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vote:
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the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or wishing to change their vote? if not, the ayes are 94. the nays zero. and the nomination is confirmed. mr. leader. under the previous order, the motions to reconsider to reconsider -- are considered made and laid on the table. the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action and the senate will resume legislative session. the majority leader.
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mr. reid: we knew all along that efforts to pass a stronger -- background checks and keep guns out of the hands of criminals wasn't easy and it hasn't been. but keeping america's streets safe from gun violence is worth the effort. yesterday families of gun violence watched as republicans defeated a commonsense proposal to expand background checks. supported by 90% of the american people. mr. president, it's not some hocus-pocus. what it says is that if you are a criminal, you shouldn't be able to buy a gun. it says if youe s issmeou shouldn't b able to buy a gun. that's all it said. yesterday the families of gun t facha majitofl this way, we weren't
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able to get this done. despite the fact that a strong majority of the united states senate voted in favor of stronger background checks -- a strong majority -- republicans once again filtered -- pardon me -- filibustered a commonsense proposal. madam president, we were able to get four republicans -- 4 out of 45. yesterday president obama said it was a shameful day for the senate, and it probably was. i agree. but we should make no mistake, this debate is not over. in fact, this fight is just beginning. i've spoken with the president. he and i agree that the best way to keep working towards passing a background check bill is to hit a pause and freeze the background check bill where it is. in the meantime we'll keep moving forward with the people from aurora, colorado;
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blacksburg, virginia; newtown and other places to make sure that we are able to get something done. thil allow senators to keep negotiating. mr. president -- i'm sorry. madam president, we had nine amendments yesterday. they were not easy to vote on, not for us or for the republicans, and i understand that. but it was a good process to go forward and get some of these contentious amendments on both sides out of the way -- or voted on rather, i think is a better way to phrase it. we're going to come back to this bill. i feel obligated to senator stabenow that she should have the opportunity to offer herame. i feel an obligation to senator coburn that he should be able to offer his amendment on background checks. i feel an obligation to a number
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of senators whom we have to do a better job on the issue dealing with veterans. so we're going to have time to work on what people want to do before we come back to this. and it will give opponents an opportunity to decide what they want to do when we get back on this, and it will give antigun advocates time to make their voices heard by republican senators. there is progress made on the bill. we passed a couple of amendments today, a republican amendment and a democratic amendment we passed today. what i suggest to the senate is it wlnt from toeturn to square one procedurally. i think that's good. i'm committed to ensuring that any bill we pass include an expansion of background checks,
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close the gun loophole, gun show loophole and to cover private sales. so this afternoon i'm going to file cloture on the motion to proceed to the marketplace fairness act which would give brick and mortar stores parity with internet-only retailers. it is only a matter of time before we bring this antigun violence measure back to the floor for a vote. the stand of the republicans is not sustainable. it is a question of how long they're going to stand firm, but it is not sustainable. but i assure the 90% of americans who support meaningful background checks, i'm going to continue this fight. i assure the families of newtown, aurora, tucson, blacksburg that we're going to continue to stand by their side. and those senators who have indicated they want to offer amendments will be back to try
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to do another tranche of amendments and i hope when we get there, we can proceed the way that we did, madam president -- madam president, i hope we pree way we did this way. i move to proceed to calendar number 41, s. 743. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: motion to proceed to the consideration of calendar number 42, is $743, a bill to restore states' sovereign rights to enforce use laws and for other purposes. mr. reid: i have a cloture motion desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: cloture motion: we, the undersigned senators, in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, do hereby move to bring to a close debate on the motion to proceed to calendar number 41, s. 743, a bill to restore states' sovereign states to enforce state and local sales and use laws and for other purposes signed by 17 senators as follows: reid, durbin, brown -- mr. reid: i ask unanimous
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consent that the reading of the names be waived. the presiding officer: without objection. the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. wyden: madam president, i would ask unanimous consent to vacate the quorum call and that -- the presiding officer: without objection. mr. wyden: madam president, as i understand it, leader reid moved to proceed to the marketplace fairness act here a bit ago. i have deep reservations about this legislation, so i am not ab t support the motion to proceed. the leader has filed cloture on his motion, and i just want it
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understood at this point that, if cloture were invoked, i will not be able to support a reduction in the amount of time available for members to debate this. and, madam president, yound ve ts, you know, a umin of times. but just for -- a number of times. but just for purposes of this discussion, i think it's extremely important that the senate and the country think through the implications of what this bill is all about. what this bill is all about is the advocates essentially witneswantto take a function thw vested in government -- state tax collection -- and, in effect, outsource that function of government to small businesses, particularly the small online retailers.
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and this has been a big source of employment, good wages, innovative approaches, new apps. it's been a big boost for our country. and i just think it's important for the senate to really think through what this means and try to see if we can come up with something that is sensible. for example, the proponents of the legislation are going to argue with considerable passion that this isn't going to be a hard task for these small businesses that they have imposed this new assignment on. they call it outsourcing, the function of state tax collection, which is done by government, to these small businesses. into be hard for small businesses t h this. they're going to say lots of new technology available, computers,
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software, and the like, and that the marketplace fairness act will not be difficult to administer as a result of these new technologies. having been involved in this debate now for years and years, having been the original author of what is a different subject but has some of the same connections -- the internet tax fairness legislation -- i've heard the proponents of this legislation say year after year after year that this is not going to be a assignment, the process of these small businesses collecting these taxes, that the new technologies are available, and that the ought to be passed because it can be donement but year after year we have seen that the thighed thiideathat this is so e borne out. if it were so simple, it would
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be done already. the reason it dominate floor ofe reason that it comes the oor ttate senate is because it is not so simple. it is not gng to be a piece of cake for these small businesses. some of the taxing jurisdictions give very different treatment for products and services that are almost identical. so this is a big lift to say that, uh, we're going to have soft weared and computers and technology, and it's just going to be a piece of cake for these small businesses for able to handle this. and i think that's part of what needs to be discussed in a debate here on the floor of the senate. because fundamentally the idea of taking a function of government -- tax collection -- and handing it over to small businesses -- and small businesses being a big part of our country's economic engine -- is something i think ought to
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give every senator pause. in addition to that, madam president, i want us to think through the aspects of this that relate to america's ability to compete in tough global markets. i know when we talked about this in a brief way during the senate budget debate, several senators said that, oh, back in the days when we were just debating the internet, theyould see the need for some of these policies in the digital age but now the internet is all grown up, don't need any of these kinds of approaches like technological neutrality and nondiscrimination with respect to taxes and regulation. my response to this, madam president, is, yes, it is a different day. no question about it. i chair the senate finance subcommittee on international trade. as part of my obligations there to look at trade and competitive in i've come to the conclusion
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that the internet is the shipping lane of the 21st century. i think about what the finance committee looked like 30, 40 years ago, people moving goods physically from north dakota to oregon and the like. it's very different today with a lot of economic activity, in a sense, being conducted on line on the internet, to a great extent is now the shipping lane. this bill -- this bill, i want the senate to know and the country to know, will be a big leg up for foreign retailers and foreign businesses. the reason i say that is the marketplace fairness act in effect tries to take local law and apply to the global economy. it's really unprecedented. and what it will mean, if passed in its present form, is that if you're on the northern border --
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say you're in north dakota or washington state or other places that are on the northern border -- if yo if you're an online re, you're going to say to -- if you're an online retailer, you're going to say tower self, why in the world would you want to stay on the u.s. side of the border and try to comply with the rules of u thousands of taxg jurisdictions where you can move, in effect, half an hour away outside the borders of the united states and not be subjected to this? so maybe the sponsors of the bill want to rename their bill -- now called the marketplace fairness be act -- to the shop canada and the shop mexico bill; because that's really what it would mean. and i've heard some in favor of the bill say that's really not the case, that there are long-armed statutes and the like. good luck with that. good luck with the idea that we
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haven't been able to figure out a way to do this in the unid states. now we're going to write b t apply to the foreign r t foreign business, and we're going to say we're going to be able to hook those people somehow with a long-arm statute? i don't see it, madam president. and that's what the point of this debate is all about. so we had the discussion in the context of the budget and i think then it was sort of seen as ciedge kind of a general pron but now we're getting ready to write a real law. my own preference would be to have this go back to the senate, you know, finance committee cared by chairman baucus. we work very closely in a very bipartisan way, chairman baucus and senator hatch, and that we have a chance to really think through the implications here.
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i mean, i can think of some commonsense ideas where the senator -- the distinguished president of the senate and i would agree on some kind of uniformity. i mean, if we were talking about uniformity rather than 5,000-plus taxing jurisdictions, that would be one thing. but i think we saw, madam president, we saw the jobs numbers last month and they weren't where they ought to be. and the idea that now we're going to take steps here in the iteds senate which would hinder the gwth of the inno ee american economy strikes me as something that we shouldn't be doing. now, personally, i'd very much like to be part of an effort to try to work this out. i've always said that the american economy is really now about bricks and clicks. we now have most of our businesses looking to try to have storefronts and on-line
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operations. and i want both of them, you know, to prosper. some of oregon'sost i will list yus, you know, companies -- illustrious companies really look at that principle, bricks and clicks, but let's not hammer the innovation sector, that on-line aspect of the american economy, especially given what we've seen of late. i mean, think about the friday after thanksgiving, where the mall -- thanksgiving. were the malls and the stores empty the friday after thanksgiving, madam president? they certainly were not. and the traditional part of the american economy, stores and malls, people couldn't find a parking place. and those stores were offering hours earlier and earlier in order to meet consumer demand. so, yes, let's promote bricks and clicks, but let us not precipitously take steps that will harm so much of the
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american economy. when i got involved tse issues years ago, madam president, i think i told the president of the senate about this, when i came te senate, you i had just become oregon's first new united states senator in 30ea. i made it clear i was going to spend a lot of time on timber and natural resources issues and i chair the energy committee, and i'm going to continue to do that because that is a bedrock part of the american economy and a bedrock part of oregon's future and small communities and what our state is all about. and i said, in addition to that focus on timber and natural resources when i came to the senate, i'm going to spend a lot of time looking at technology and innovation and new areas for our state to get into. and that led me into some of those initial kinds of efforts,
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passage of the section of the communications decency act which encouraged investment in social media, facebook and twitter and the social media because had we not got than passed, we were told that a lot of people who might think about investing in the social media would see that somebody who ran a web site would get held liable for somebody who posted on that site and the owner of the site wouldn't know anything about it and couldn't figure out how to get rid of it. so with that and with the internet tax freedom bill and others, madamsi, we said said, with respect to technology and innovation, let's do two things. first, let's do no harm. let's not take steps actively where we damage our economy and our future. and, second, let's not discriminate. let's not single out this sector
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which has shown so much promise. at a minimum, madam president, the marketplace fairness legislation as written today will violate that first principle -- it will do harm. it will force those small on-line retailers to, in effect, take on a government function, tax collection. i don't know of any civics book that talks about outsourcing a function of government, tax collection, to small businesses. that's what the marketplace fairness legislation does. and, second, in a tough global economy -- and i know the president of the senate cares a great deal about global commerce and global trade, coming from her state -- this bill will favor foreign business who will not be subjected to it. cannot be corrected in this bill in its present form. there may be other ways to cot it. there may be other ways t rrt nf aspects of this bill. that cannot.
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it willavor forei retailers and as i chair the finance ommiee on glol commerce and global, you know, trade, i don't see how that makes sense. so, madam president, that's why i've made it clear today that given the state of where the senate discussion is now with the leader having filed cloture on his motion, i want to make it clear that if cloture is invoked, i will not support a reduction in time for this discussion. madam president, with that, i yield the floor. and i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the presiding officer: the senator from florida is recognized. mr. rubio: i ask unanimous consent the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. rubio: madam president, i ask unanimous consent i be recognized to speak as if in morning business up to 15 minutes. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. rubio: thank you, madam president. this we can i join my colleagues to intiewfer immigration reform that seeks to end de facto amney by the strongest measures in u.s. history and modernizing our immigration system to unleash the job creation potential that immigration has. let me begin by stating the obvious. that is america is a nation of immigrants. we know that because every single one of us can track our
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lineage to someone to came here from somewhere else. it makes us different and special from the rest of the world. the history of the world is people being told you can only do what your parents did for a living, how far you'll go in life depends on what your parents used to do and who you're connected to. what made the idea of america revolutionary was the idea that every single human being, no matter where you were born, how you were born into what kind of family you were born and into what circumstances you were born that every single human being had the god-given right to go as far as their talent and hard workill take them. now, we may take that for granted tho of us like me born and raised here our entir le but this i the excti rather than the rule throughout human history and it is one of the things that has made america so special because the belief and commitment to that ideal unleashed here the revolutionary power of the human spirit. and transformed this country into the single most powerful and greatest and freest nation
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in all of human history. this is the story of immigration in america and it is why we as americans understand that legal immigration is critically important for our future and a critical part of our heritage. the problem is that for too long both republicans and democrats have failed to enforce our immigration laws. and the result is that today we have millions of people living in the united states in violation of our immigration laws. the other problem is that our legal immigration system is broken. it is just broken. it doesn't reflect the 21st century, it doesn't take into account special skills and talents, doesn't allow to us attract the world's best and priet brightest. it doesn't allow us to keep the best and brightest many of whom are students in our universities who learn from our best schools that our taxpayers are paying for and when they're done learning, we ask them to leave. to take what they've learned here and use it somewhere else to compete against us. it makes absolutely no sense. so let me just start out by
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saying if there wasn't a single illegal immigrant in the united states we would sll have to do immigration reform because the immigration system is broken and i'm pleased this bill we've offered as a starting point reforms our system in a serious and profound way. it turns it into a merit-based system that takes into account skills, talent and job opportunities, where agriculture can get the workers into this country illegal by -- legally by the way the workers that feed not just our families but the wormed. it allows the business community in times of labor shortages to be able to provide for themselves the kind of guest and seasonal labor that some industries depend on but to do so in a legal way. these reforms are significant. by the way, in the high-tech industry where we're not graduating nearly enough people in the high-tech fields, science, technology, engineering and math, shame on us more of our children are not graduating with the schools to do those jobs and we have to change that but in the
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meantime, there are thousands of jobs that are going overseas t these companies in theem here. high-tech industry, they're creating these jobs but then taking them somewhere else because that's where the workers are. it's pretty simple. they go to a university, they interview the students, they find someone they really like, and if they can't hire them in the united states, they'll hire the same person in some other country and that's terrible for america. the bill thing this bill does is modernizes our legal immigration system something we needo do even i there wasn't an illegal immigrant in the united states. the bill institutes a university tracking system. 40% of the people illegally in the united states didn't come illegally. they came on a visa, on a permit. and then the permit expired and they stayed. 40%. we have no idea who they are because we don't track people he they leave.
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we only track when they come in. this bill will change that. the second thing we understand the magnet for illegal immigration. it is jobs. it is pretty simple. you have a supply of people willing to work. you have a supply of jobs on this side of the border we can't fill domestically and those two are meeting. they're just not meeting legally. with an e-verify system which this bill mandates we do, is it will require every employer in america to basically check the documents their workers are providing against the national data base that provides employment eligibility information. the third thing it does on enforcement is the border region. let me begin by saying this about the border. the border is not just about immigration. it's about national security. it's a national security risk. the border must be secure. what this bill does is it requires the department of homeland security to come up with not one but two plans. a border plan and a fencing plan
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to achieve 100% ability to be aware of the entire border and 90% apprehension, that we apprehend nine out of ten people that are illegally crossing it. and we give the department of homeland security five years to reach that goal. and if they do not reach that goal in five years, then the issue is turned over to a commission made up of state officials, local officials on the border to take care of the job themselves. and they will. if the federal government refuses to secure the border, the states of new mexico and texas and arizona and california through their governors and their leaders, they will finish the job. the third thing this bill does is it deals with the millions of people who are in this country in violation of our immigration laws. let me begin by saying this, no one has a right to illegally emigrate to the united states. you don't. there is no legal right to be here illegally. and as a sovereign country, we have a right to enforce our immigration laws. if we do something to accommodate those that are here illegally, we don't do it because we legally have to.
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we do it for two reasons. first, because it's in the best interest of our country. when we debate this immigration issue, we need to understand when we talk about millions of illegal immigrants, this is not a theory. this is a reality. they are here now. we're not talking about bringing these people in. they are here already. and they will be here for the rest of their lives. we have to deal with that reality. it's in our national interest to deal with that reality. and the second reason why we're dealing witht is because that's who we are. we are compassionate people. we'rnot going to deport 11 million people. so we have to deal with this. and we believe that we handle this in a very professional and effective way. if you are in this country illegally and you enter here before december of 2011, you have to present yourself. you will undergo a background check. if you have committed serious crimes in the u.s., you will be deported. if you have not, you will have to pay an application fee, a fine. you will have to start paying taxes, and you will receive a
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permit that will allow you to work in the united states and pay your taxes. you won't qualify for any federal benefits -- no welfare, no obamacare, no food stamps -- but you will have a chance to work and you will no longer have to hide. you are going to have to remain in that system for six years and then go back and get your permit renewed. it is not a permanent grant of a temporary status. it is a temporary grant of a temporary status. in six years you have to apply again. when you reapply, not only do you have to pay another fine and another application fee, but you're going to have to prove you've been paying taxes the last six years and you're gainfully employed in a way that means you're not going to wind up onubli assuming your permit is renewed, after ten years has gone by, if f e-verify is in have been place, if the entry et syste ice,he onlyhing that happens is you are given a clans to apply for a green card l
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everybody else does. not a special process. you're at the back of the line. evyone who applied before you legally goes first. the only thing that happens after ten years go by and the border is secured, e-verify is in place and the entry-exit system is in place, we don't give you anything. all you have now is the opportunity to apply for a green card. during the first five years under a green card under existing law you don't qualify for federal benefits either. the point is this is a reasonable way to deal with a real problem that faces our country. the alternative is to do nothing which leads me to one of the points people are using. one of the arguments against this is how much money it is going to cost. over the first 10 or 15 years all these things about the fence and these things we're doing, it's paid for in the bill. beyond that, as far as the economy of the united states, a couple points. first of all, you can't compare this bill to nothing. you have to compare it to what we have now. and what we have now is worse.
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what we have now is costing our economy. you have people in this country illegally. they get sick, they go to the emergency room, and the taxpayer pays for it. you have people in this country that are having children who are u.s. citizens and they go to our schools. they're driving in our streets without a drivers license which means they have no car insurance, which means all of us have to pay more in car insurance as a result. this is notood for us. it's obviously notood f th, butt's not good for us. what we hav today is devastating and horrible for our economy. we can't continue to have this. we have to fix this problem. and we have to fix it in a way that is fair to the people that have done it the right way and fix it in a way to make sure this never ever happens again. and i believe the bill we're working on does that. and i look forward to the input my colleagues have. one more criticism i hear, it's being rushed through. that's just not true. just yesterday we voted on a series of amendments that i had less than 12 hours to review. these amendments dealt with a fundamental right -- the second
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amendment constitutional right. this bill has been online already for 48 hours. the committee on judiciary won't even begin to consider amendments to this bill until mexico -- next month. it is posted on my web site. people can go on there and see it. it will be available all these weeks and then go through an extensive committee process and then brought to the floor and we can openly debate it. i'm not claiming the bill is perfect. i'm sure my 92 other colleagues will work hard to improve it because we have an opportunity to do something important. my last point i address to many of my fellow americans who share my deep commitment to uphol ehe es tize and scope of government, to encouraginghe free enterprise system as the best way to create economic opportunity. america is a nation of immigrants. both republicans and democrats have failed to enforce our immigration laws.
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and as a result, we have millions of people here illegally. we're not going to deport them. so let's secure the border. let's identify these people. let's undergo a background check, get in the back of the line, pay a fine, pay taxes, no federal benefits, we all wish we didn't have this problem, but leaving it the way it is, it's amnesty. we have to solve this problem. and i hope we will. madam chairman, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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mr. durbin: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: i ask consent the thing officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. durbin: thank you, madam president. i want to draw attention to major flooding which is going on in illinois at this moment, particularly in chicago and suburbs, but not exclusively. it's affected down state as well. hundreds of families have been evacuated from their homes in more than 30,000 people are without power. and we are experiencing a major storm. the rocks fox, due page mississippi and illinois rivers overflowed their banks damaging hundreds if not thousands of about businesses. several levees are near the breaking point. in many areas flooding is so bad it exceeds what we saw in 2008 and 1997. the ground is so saturated a
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sink hole in chicago swallowed three cars this morning. in libertyville high school it sunk a foot into the muddy soil. more than 300 flights canceled out of o'hare and midway airports. hundreds of schools in and around of chicago were closed today because of dangerous high water. people along the des plains and fox rivers in grundy cane counties are flooded. heavy rain filled the large underground flood control system known as the deep tunnel in chicago. this project was designed to handle sewer backup problems and water pollution in cook county. the chicago river has swelled by six feet, tggering locks to open and the flow to be rersed back to lake michigan. for the first time in recent memory the du page county government is shut down because of flooding. all county government buildings includinlthepartment are closed.
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government prick quinn a state of emergency for the entire state. national guardsmen are on hand helping to evacuate people and monitor water levels and road closures. first responders are supplying sandbags, pumps, live vests -- life vests and other supplies along the river banks. sandbagging operations are ongoing in boon, dekalb, henry and will counties. my office is in contact with mayor nicholas helmer of prospect heights. we're working with the mayor elect and the interim mayor of the city of desplains. they are working hard to make sure the communities are safe. communities all along the mississippi river in the western part of the state could be next with regard to flooding. water is already rising in quincy in the quad cities and communities down state like east st. louis and carol could see major flooding this week as storm runoff from north works south.my colleague senator markk
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and i are ready to help the communities in any way. we have cosigned a letter to the governor to put in writing what we have said or early. we stand prepared to work with all of the federal agencies available to help our state during this flooding challenge. we understand that they're doing everything possible at the local level, and if the situation continues to worsen, there may be need for federal assistance. senator kirk and w wk together on a bipartisan basis e sre. my thoughts are with the people and families affected by floodwaters in illinois, especially those who had to leave their homes. i am particularly grateful for the people work around the clock to control these rivers. i have spoken to the director of the illinois emergency management agency and we're monitoring the flood control effort on a minute-by-minute basis. i will continue to work with federal, state, and local fishes to make sure vital resources are made available for the flood control effort.
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mr. president, just a short time ago there was a press conference that was historic in nature. eight senators, four democrats and four republicans, came together to announce the introduction of an immigration bill. it's a bill that we've worked on for months. the four senators on the democratic side are senator schumer, senator menendez, senator bennet of colorado and myself. on the republican side, senator mccain, senator lindsey graham, senator jeff flake of arizona, senator marco rubio of florida. when you put the eight of news a roornlings you havnewsroom, youl political spectrum. we tried to do our best toeal with immigration in america. it is a substantial chasm america's immigration system is badly, badly broafnl broafnlt it because we estimate there are 11 million people living in tuny . eople that get up and go to work every day, tma
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have picked the fruits that you put onr cereal this morning. they could be cleaning the room you slept in in chicago. they're spread across the econo. they're hardworking people. but they're undocumented, they have no country. about half them are here because they came initially as visitors or college students, and they stayed. they are here illegally. there are no questions about t they are undocumented. and the questions we've asked ourselves overed and over for the last many years, what are we going to do? in the last presidential campaign, governor romney said they should self-deport themselves, they should leave. that isn't going to happen. it may be good campaign rhetoric, but it doesn't reflect reality. when you find when you get to know the undocumented is they don't live in houses filled with undocumented people. it's notten common to find --
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it's not uncommon to find that dad is a citizen, the children were born here and they're citizens. it is mom who is undocumented. these stories are repeated over and over again. the se eight of us sat down and said, what are we going to do to deal with this and problem this creates in the economy? here it what it is. it isn't the matter of 11 million people working in the economy documented. it is the fact that they end up taking jobs and being paid the lowest possible wages. their work depresses wages. in addition, most cases -- many cases, i should say -- they're being paid in cash. their employers are not paying into unemployment, workers' compensation, social security, medicare. they're off the books. their wes are so cheap and so low, it really hurts the jobs of american workers. in additio many of these workers are mistreated. it is not unusual for me to hear
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that in chicago, a workers worked a whole work and then their boss said, oh, the money didn't come through, we're not going to pay you. what are they supposed do, call the insist go to court? they're undocumented. they thei there are abuses thate place when it comes to these workers and it doesn't help the overall economy. there are other issues as well. about 12 years ago i got a phone call in my office from the merit music program in chicago which offers to kids -- low-income family kids musical instruments and instruction. and 100 bee% of these kids end p going to college. one ever them, teresa lee, was korean and very good playing the concert piano. she was accepted at juilliard and the manhattan conservatory of music. she went to school and went through the trash basket to try to find uneaten food.
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boy was she good at the piano. when she filled out the application to go to school, there was a box that said "nationality, citizenship." mom, what do i put on here? her mom said, i don't know. we brought new on a visitor' visa at the age of 2. so they called myice. i reclear. she is not documented, she is not a citizen. she needs to leaf mechanic for ten years and see if she request get back in, get a green card to come back in. this girl was 18 years old, had nothing never anything wrong. so i nut a bill called the dream act. if you'd, like lee, came here as a child, no criminal record, finished high school, we'll give you a chance, goes to college, enlist in the military, and we'll let you become a citizen someday soon. well, the dream act has been out there for 12 years. it didn't pass. but now we still have hundreds
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of thousands of these young people, half a million of them have signed up under the president's executive order not to be deported if they're gobble for the dream act. and there are many more out there. that is one of the unresolved issues in our immigration system. i could go on and give you volumes of problems with the current immigration system in america. so we decided to pitt sit down and do something about it. the first meeting we had the republican senators, senator mccain, senator flake from arizona, as well as senator graham, senator rubio said, first item on the agenda: fix the border. it does us no good to deal with immigration problems within the country if we don't deal with the flow of people into the country. well, the border is strong today, stronger than it's ever been in 40 years. but ere weaker parts. there are aboute dre sections of our southern border, about three are problem matter iefnlgt six are pretty strong. so we agreed. let's make sure the nine
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sections of the border have the investment that they need to be as strong as possible. then let's do more. let's create a computer system, expand the one we have called e-verify so if you go to apply for a job and asked to show a picture i.d., the employer can enter the information into a computer right at work and up pops a picture which ought to match your picture on the license. if it matches, you can be employed. you're here legally. if it doesn't match, there may be a question. so e-verify will make sure in the workplace you have to be part of the system. you have to be registered in america. the third element involves visitors' visas. we give a lot of people the opportunity to visit this great country. some of them never go home. we don't know t we know they came in. we chec checked that. but we don't know if they ever left. we're going to finish that
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system so we know we have information collected not only when they enter but when they leave. if they overstay, we can go after them. so those things we we debate and included in our immigration bill deal with the draw of people into america, the border, employment, visitors' visas. then we said, what do with the 11 million people? what to do real slicksly and honestly? here's what we said in the bipartisan bill. we said, first you have to step forward and register with the government. you've lived in the shadows, always feared the knock on now come forward. if you religious sterkter, regiu ow through a serious background check. we'll give you a chance to register with the government, pay your taxes, pay a fine, make it clear that you're learning english, and working in america.
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if you do that you can stay here legal will he. and you can work here lill legally. you can even travel outside the country legally and come back. it is a provisional recognition of an opportunity for legalization. -- legalization. and at the end of the 10 years, after you pay the fines, autograph a been reviewed on a regular basis, you'll have a chance to have a greg card and 'towards citizenship over a three-year period of time so this is basically the system. the system that strengthens the border and creates a pathway to citizen hispanic for 11 -- and create aces path way to citizenship for 11 million people. this is the strongest version of the dream act than any that i've introduced, any that i am i've proposed on the floor of the is that. it is going to give these young people a chant there was a young woman here at the press conferen namedu olami wa bn in nigeria, came here
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at armily age and went through high school and then went through college and from -- received a chemical engineering degree from a prestigious virginia university. that was ten years ago. she is naiver been able to work one day as an engineer despite her tax because she can't get licensed. she is undocumented. she deserves a chant she will get a chance under this bill, under the dream act, as she should. i could go through stories -- i've told about 54 different ones ogee the floor of the senate -- of young people in her circumstances. came here as kids, knew no other country, as bob menendez often says, pledged allegiance to the fl every day in the classroom, only knows our national anthem. now they're going to have a chance because of this bill. there are othe other parts of te bill that are important, too. when it comes to employment, the first rule i insuccessed on was that any job opening had to be
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offered to an american worker first. that's in every part of this bill. because we still have people unemployed. they should have first opportunity on any job opening. if the job can't be filled -- some of these jobs americans are not standing in line for, pecial ag workers, the back-breaking work of picking fruits and veges tablings. there are many jobs that will go unfilled unless migrant workers come to fill them. so what we say is basically offer the job to an american first at a wage that is prevai prevailing wage or average wage in the industry. if it goes unfilled, then a foreign worker has an opportunity, only -- only if the me tr below 8.5% or in the region where the person -- where the person works. then what to do about the extraordinarily educated and talented people that can make a difference in the american
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economy. it was six or eight years ago when i spoke to the illinois technology institute. it was a happy day. all of these graduates from a prestigious institute of technology were getting their chance. they went through the baccalaureate degrees and were pretty diverse. then they got into the advanced degrees, the masters' degrees and ph.d.'s. it took a little longer because it was tough to pronounce all of the names from the south indian congresses, south asian continent, india and places nearby. these were graduates admitted in the united states, trained in the united states, receiving their degrees did aftere handing them their was, figuratively, gave them a road map to show them how to life america, take their talents and everything they learned to go someplace else to compete with american business. we're going to change that. if a foreign student comes here
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and they're educated here and have skills that we need in our economy and can help create jobs and grow businesses, we're going to give them that chance with a green card. that to me makes sense. they can expand the economy. some of the major high-tech corporations in america today were actually created by immigrants to this country. they came here because they loved the freedom, the opportunity that no other country can offer. we've got to give more just like them a chance to build tomorrow's intel, tomorrow's google. they'll do it and create american jobs in the process. we want the united states to be a magnet for this kind of job creation. we also want the united states to have more homegrown engineers ourselves. maria cantwell brought this up at your luncheon this afternoon. not only that we have the talent that we need, but that we grow the talent we need. focus on the stem.
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that's partreonsibility as well. there are many aspects to t bill, immigration refortunately, that will come tomorrow before the senate judiciyommiee and i'm be there. we'll be having a hearing to discuss it friday, then again on monday, andhen soon thereafter, after we come back from our break in the first part of may, we'll have actual markup of the bill in the senate judiciary committee. the bill has been filed now. it is available for everyone to read. we're not trying to push anything through in a huer rhode island it'll be -- in a hurry. it'll be discussed, debated, amendments will be offered in committee and on the floor, as they should be. at the end of the day, it gives us the chance to make schauer mt we fix this broken system. i come to the floor with some personal hoamplet it was in 1911 when my mother was carried off
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of a ship in the baltimore harbor. my grandmother, whom i'd never met, brought her and her brother and cities certificate over from lithuania. they were immigrants in 1911. somehow or/, not speaking english, they found the right train -- the baltimore and ohio railroad -- and took that plain to st. louis. they got off in east st. lou illinois. and they made a emwho. that's where i was born and grew up. my mother was an immigrant to this country, a naturalized system, and i am first-generation american. and i'm blessed to be standing here on the floor of the united states national. that's my story. that's my family. a vorsionhatto. it mayot be your parents or grand parents, yo but go back fr enough and you will aide find a story just like that in your background. i had the good fortune to go
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back to my mother's village in lithuania near countess in lithuania. my mother never got back. i got there and i asked the people in that village, what's left from the time when my mother was here in 1911. oh, they said, that catholic church where she was baptized is still there. and there's an old well in the center of town where everybody came for water, your family must have used it. so i went and looked at that old well. couldn't even pick it out now because all the traffic circles are around it and the rest. but i thought about that moment when my grandparents called in their relatives and friends and said, we have an announcement. we're leaving. we're picking up everybody and we're going to america. we're going tceo p called east st. louis, illinois, because there's some lithuanians there from this area and they found work. stanley yokus, who was the pharmacist and druggist in that area was kind of like the godfather and people who didn't trust the local banks would
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leave their money with stanley. and the lithuanian community there, like many communities, worked the toughest jobs in the packinghouses and the steel mills and jobs just like that. well, i often thought about that meeting with my grandparents when they called in their relatives and friends, what might have happened afterwards when they left. my grandparents' home, i'll juse otr,n bieve this?" the kataifa family is leaving, they're going to america? they don't even speak english. they're leaving their home, they're leaving their church, all their relatives and friends? the dog, the cat, the chickens -- they're all leaving? they'll be back. this won't work. never went back. now repeat that story millions of times and you have the story of america and you have the story of the people who came to this country, who somewhere deep in their d.n.a. had this appetite and thirst for a better life and were willing to risk everything for it to get to this country. and it still happens. we hear of people walking across
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the desert and dying on their way to america in arizona and texas. we hear of all the things they do, the dangerous things they do to get to this country. well, that is what is great about america and that's what's great about americans and what's in our d.n.a. as a people. we should never forget how important immigration is to us. those who criticize immigrants have forgotten where they came from. and those who criticize immigrants don't realize that diversity of america, the talent of america, the drive of america is all about immigration. we've got to control it. we've got to make sure it's done legally and done in a systematic way. we can't absorb everybody who wants to come here. but in bringing in america, we revitalize the american dream every single generation. ls an important we haven't done anything to immigration 25 years and it shows. we have a mess in this country and it's timeo straighten it out. eight senaduil
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four democrats, four republica republicans. i think it's balanced. i think it's a bill that will be debated, should be considered. i hope it passes. and i hope the day comes and soon when it's signed into law by the president, who fully supports comprehensive immigration reform. i said today at the press conference, i want to be there at least at one of the naturalization ceremonies when my dreamers get their chance to become part of the only country they've ever called home. they're going to make this a better and stronger nation and they're a part of our citizenry. mr. president, i yield the floor and suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: i would ask that the quorum call be dispensed with and i be allowed to speak as if in morning business for up to ten minutes. mr. chambliss: this year marks the 65th anniversary of the air force reserve created by harry s. truman on april 14,
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1948. since the founding of the united states, citizens have answered the call to arms, accomplished their mission with professionalism and honor and returned to their civilian lives to await the next call to serve. truman envisioned a new reserve component to continue this tradition of service, being ready when called upon, that was founded by the army air service reservists of the first world war who flew wood and canvas biplanes. the forereturn of our modern air force reserve was authorized by the national defense act 1916. today air force reservists known as citizen airmen perform leading roles in military operations, humanitarian crises and disaster relief around the globe. the air force reserve consists of officers enlisted and civilian servants who are tasked by law to fill the needs of the armed forces wherever necessary.
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more than 860,000 people make up the ready stand-by, retired and active duty retired reserve. this ilus000 selected reservists who are ready now and rve the front lines of daily military operations around the globe. the creation of the air force reserve followed the birth of the air force itself by about seven months earlier on september 18, 1947. the newly created air force had gained its independence from the army, tracing its roots back to the aeronautical division of the u.s. army's office of the chief signal officer which took charge of military balloons and air machines in 1907. ten years later, the first two air reserve units were mobilized, and one of them, the first aeroreserve squadron from
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mineola, new york, deployed to france as the united states entered world war i in 1917. the new air service reserve program provided the war effort of about 10,000 pilots who had graduated from civilian and military flying schools. later, reservists played a critical role in world war ii when 1,500 reserve pilots, along with 1,300 nonrated officers and 400 enlisted airmen augmented the army air corps in the war's early days. this included the legendary jimmy doolittle who was ordered to active duty to work in detroit to convert automobile manufacturinglants into aircraft factories and later went ono lead doolittle's raiders, the first american bombing attack on the japanese mainland. after world war ii ended, the young air force reserve was
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barely two years old when they mobilized nearly 147,000 reservists for the korean war. in the 1960's, five air force reserve c-124 aircraft units, along with 5,613 reservists, were mobilized for a year to support the berlin crisis. by 1964, an additional mobilization of 14,220 reservists and 422 aircraft were supporting operations during the cuban missile crisis. during the vietnam war, the air force reserve provided strategic airlift as well as counterinsurgency, close air support, tactical mobility, interdiction, rescue and recovery, intelligence, medical, maintenance, aerial port and air superiority until u.s. involvement ended in 1973.
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as our nation entered a period of peace for the next few years, the air force reserve periodically engaged in emergency response missions. this included the rescue of american students from grenada in 1983, aerial refueling ofcr c raid on libya in 1986 and oper ask panamanian dictator manuel noriega in 1989-1990. air force reservists aod humanid disaster relief efforts, including resupplying evacuation missions in the aftermath of hurricane hugo in 1989. all the while, they stood ready to answer the call to arms as our nation entered the final days of the cold war. more than 23 years of continuous combat operations began with operation desert shield in
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response to saddam hussein's invasion of kuwait in 1990. in the aftermath of coalition victory, air force reservists continue to enforce no-fly zones over northern and southern iraq while also performing humanitarian relief missions to assist displaced iraqi kurds. in 1993, air force reserve tanker, mobility and fighter units began operations in bosnia, and in 1999, we're also supporting operation allied force overerbia and kosovo. when terrorists attacked the united states on september 11, 2001, air force reservists responded in full force. aier f-16 fighters, airplanes flew combat air patrols to protect american cities while kc-135 tankers and
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awacs aircraft supported security efforts. in october, 2001, operating -- operation enduring freedom began as u.s. military forces entered afghanistan to combat the taliban and terrorist sanctuaries. in march, 2003, operation iraqi freedom began in order to end saddam hussein's regime. air force reserve units and reservists played key roles in all combat operations. as air force reserve mc-130 combat talon aircraft became the first fixed wing aircraft to penetrate afghan airspace, while air force reserve f-16 crews performed the first combat missions. in recent years, citizen airmen have supported every air force corps function and every combatant commander around the world. air force reservists were engaged in surge operations in iraq and afghanistan.
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they supported combat and humanitarian missions in haiti, libya, japan, mali and the horn of africa. also, they have provided national disaster relief at home in the united states after hurricanes katrina and sandy, the gulf oil spill and the wildfires in the western states. throughout their history, citizen airmen have volunteered unconditionally, demonstrating wit fail they were ready when needed. since inception in 1948, the air force reserve has evolvedro a unit mobilization only force into an operational reserve that participates in missions around the globe. from its headquarters at robins air force base in my home state of georgia, the air force reserve serves with distinction to provide for our national security on a daily basis. spanning six and a half decades with the last two decades of
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continuous combat, the air force reserve has fulfilled the promise of early air pioneers and exceeded the potential foretold by the visionaries who created it. congratulations to all citizen airmen past, present, and future on the 65th anniversary of the united states air force reserve. and i would ask that we call the roll for a quorum call. thank you. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call: quorum call:
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quorum call:
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